This name is of English locational origin from a place near Layland Lancashire, called Blacklache. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'bloec' meaning 'black' or 'dark', plus 'loece' a boggy stream. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below). One, Nicholas Blackleech of Layland, Lancashire was 'doctor of phisick to King Henry VIII'. The spelling Blackledge is particularly well recorded in Lancashire Church Registers from the late 16th Century. On May 15th 1575 Alicia Blackledge married a Willmus Wyton at Standish and on November 27th 1579 Richard, son of Ewan Blackledge, was christened in Ormskirk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Blakelache, of Layland, Lancashire, which was dated 1332 - in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as the Father of the Navy 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.